2 07 2013

Here’s a reprint of my review of BBC Radio One’s Big Weekend that ran in Hot Press.



Boasting a bill that would make the Norse Gods of Valhalla whisper “hold on a second lads, this looks like it could be too much fun for us,” BBC Radio One’s Big Weekend is back in Derry with a bang and it’s crammed full of performers that would make the most pickiest festival punter’s mouth water. Hot Press has arrived bright and early on Sunday for the best line-up of the last three days and we’re just in time to see 30 Seconds To Mars scamper onstage. Led by singer, actor and former squeeze of Angela Chase (google it) Jared Leto, the band have grown into bona fide headliners over the last decade and open the main stage in style, provoking mass singalongs to ‘The Kill’ despite the 1pm start.


Sadly we miss Haim due to a scheduling clash, but we catch popstrels Little Mix and their canny cover of En Vogue’s ‘Don’t Let Go’ impresses. Miles Kane is up next and he strides on to the In New Music We Trust stage clad in a fetching white suit which makes him look like the coolest ice-cream man on earth. ‘Inhaler,’ newies ‘Give Up’ and ‘Taking Over’ sound massive thanks to some amped up riffs that are fuzzier than a two year old tooth-brush and he looks ready to take things to the next level.


Wretch 32 on the other hand struggles to work the crowd and as a result there’s a mass exodus over to the INMWT stage as people want to get up close and personal with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. In fact, such is the excitement for the rapper, they’ve had to close the doors and refuse entry to hundreds (if not thousands) of punters, making for one of the most electric atmospheres this writer has experienced in moons. Looking like he hasn’t a notion what time or even day it is, the jet-lagged hip-hopper is welcomed like a hero and he returns the favour by dropping ‘Thrift Shop’ nice and early and the venue erupts.’One Love’ ably proves that you can be a mainstream rap act and not be a sexist, homophobic wanker, while ‘Can’t Hold Us’ sounds monstrous as the festival go-ers pogo as one causing the tent to quiver and shake like a blancmange on a bouncy castle and it feels like a watershed moment for the performer and one many won’t forget.


Jake Bugg is an odd way to come down from Mackle-Mania, but it oddly works, though Jessie Ware doesn’t quite hit the spot as we’d hoped she would. Paramore though, are a revelation and bursting with pop punk hits, putting on a world beating performance. Hayley Williams, as ever, is a joy to watch and ‘Misery Business,’ ‘Into You’ and more all sound immaculate.


After catching a bit of the robotic Vampire Weekend, Bruno Mars closes the star-studded event in style with a polished, hit-laden performance that proves he deserves his spot as the current prince of pop and as fireworks light up the night sky, we keep our fingers crossed it won’t be another nine years until the festival is back in the north.


New Thor Trailer

23 04 2013

Aaaaannnnnnnd the trailer’s keep on coming.Here’s the new one for Thor.

Open The Bifrost!

31 03 2011

It’s been an relentless few weeks deadline-wise, but the end is in sight and I’ll try and stick up a few features over the days ahead, but in the meantime-check this out.

Three words: OPEN. THE. BIFROST!

Thor & Loki-Blood Brothers

17 03 2011

A few years ago, my brother bought me the Loki mini-series (he’s awful good like that. If you talk nice to him he might buy you something too, but don’t tell him I said that). Featuring stunning artwork by Esad Ribic, who is not only an amazing artist but a great bloke to drink Guinness with (though that’s a tale for another time…) it was a big hit with the critics and now Marvel have made it into a film/cartoon. Here’s the trailer..

Spidey Reboot/My First Comic

7 12 2010

This week I’ve been following the latest happenings on the Spiderman film reboot and you know what? I think it looks like it might actually be pretty decent. I was never a huge Spidey fan growing up. My brother used to pick up the Complete Spiderman that Marvel UK used to print every month that collected all four of Webhead’s Yank titles in the early 90s and other than being rather taken with the Black Cat (pictured below) I can’t remember a story that really got me hooked.

Incidentally, I’ve always wanted a suitably saucy Black Cat tattoo, though with my arms basically covered and my chest saved for something else, I dunno where I’d put it to do Felicia justice. But back to the Spidey film. The addition of Emma Stone has certainly swayed me in a positive direction and while I was surprised she wasn’t cast as Mary Jane (they’re both ginger after all) judging by the photo below-she really looks the part as Gwen Stacy (I’ve posted a few piccys so you can compare and contrast coz I’m nice like that).

Pretty good-huh? I’ve always preferred Gwen over MJ anyway, though how that miserable bollocks Parker manages to snag these three ladies is beyond me. I’m convinced he’s the Lembit Opik of comics.

Keeping things in a comic vein-here’s a reprint of the My First Comic piece I wrote for AU a few months ago for my final comics pages. During the summer I had to scale back a little bit on the workload I was taking on, and I decided that after 3 years, the double page spread in the aforementioned mag had to go as there are only so many hours in the day. Don’t worry too much though True Believers, as I’ve pruned the piece down to a more manageable 400words a month.  Anyway, here’s the column.

My Favorite Comic

Edwin McFee

“Ok, as it’s our last ever comics section; the overlords of AU have allowed this writer a little self-indulgence, so here goes. My first real memory of comics and what feelings and thoughts they could provoke in a person was when I was about 7 and I was sitting in a dentist’s waiting room, bored out of my skull while my brother got his gob looked at. A mouthy sort as a child, my mother bought me a copy of Marvel UK’s Transformers to shut me up and it did the trick nicely. The story arc was called ‘Time Wars’ and I was utterly shocked as Galvatron got half of his face blown off and Shockwave descended into a madness that made Eastenders crackhead Phil Mitchell look like the most together dude in the world. After that, I started to collect every issue but as the quality of the comic went on a steady decline I soon binned off the title a few years later.

 “It was only when I was 11 that I really became a complete and utter fanboy. Myself and some friends at school decided to start picking up certain titles from the local newsagents and then we’d swap them around the class after each month. Some of the books I bought were the Punisher and Thor, but it was the Incredible Hulk in particular that struck a chord. At that time (back in 1991, when everyone wore check shirts and didn’t wash their hair, for those keeping score) writer Peter David was just starting to get into the real meat of his epic saga and his take on Bruce Banner’s condition is still as potent now as it was two decades ago. Nowadays I have hundreds of Hulk comics and paraphernalia (hell, I’ve even got a huge tattoo of ol’ Jade Jaws) as well as thousands of comics in general, and while I’m running out of room to house them all, I’d never part with a single issue as whenever life gets me down, I can always open one up and catch up with my friends Bruce, Betty, Rick and Marlo.”

Green Lantern Trailer

17 11 2010

Yup, the Green Lantern trailer has hit the web and it stars Van Wilder, Party Liason in the lead role. I don’t think it’s going to be as good as the Captain America and Thor films, but I’m still looking forward to seeing it.

New Thor Footage

15 06 2010

I’m excited. Realllly wanna see how the Warrior’s Three turn out though.


17 11 2009

Well, it looks like Ken Branagh has found his actors to play the Warriors Three in the up coming Thor film (out May 2011). As it turns out, the film seems like it’s going to be a bit of an Irish love-in with the director being from Belfast, Stuart Townsend (who plays Fandral the Dashing) hailing  from Dublin, Ray Stevenson (who plays Volstagg the Voluminous) was originally born in Lisburn and Tadanobu Asano (who plays Hogan the Grim) lives on the High Walk in Newry (OK, I’m only joking about that last one…).

So-to sum up-we’ve got these dudes as Thor’s mates-

…and in the comics they look like this-

I can’t wait. Have a look here for more info!